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My Punto EP MJD T-Wine: My Ferrari on a Budget

Discussion in 'Punto 1.3 MJD' started by ginnupotter, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor


    Do not hesitate to show the new engine bit higher revs. 2500rpm is no issues. The key is being gradual, and not redlining the engine. Apart from that, drive normally as you would drive any car.

    Read the ''start stop idling'' thread on TFI for some good practices to follow.(please search the thread on TFI, can't post the link right now, since i'm on mobile)

  2. ginnupotter


    Intial Ownership review: Punto, Emotion Pack

    Completed 1000kms with my Punto and as promised here goes the initial experience/review.

    The Thought of a new car:
    I had a 1998 model Zen running on CNG since 2002. It was a car which had proved too good to be true with not even a single breakdown for the 70,000 kms I drove it in Delhi. However it was getting old and had started asking for regular maintenance expenses.

    Then one day I saw a white arrow parked in front of my building. It was the most beautiful car I had seen till that day near my home. Yeah, it was in BNW punto emotion pack. Just then I felt the need for a new car or at least a different car if not new. So after thinking over cars such as a second hand cng accent to new SX4 CNG and Ford Figo Diesel, I finally got Sabu (Yep, that’s what I call it) home 3 weeks back.

    As for driving experience I had only driven my Zen which I bought second hand in 2002 for the last 70k Kms. I was not used to a silent cabin although I was used to rattles and foremost a power steering in true sense, which takes all your power to turn. What I mean to say here is that I had no point of reference to compare these comforts of a new car with. Everything is a bonus for me.

    Delivery and the Hiccup:
    Delivery was a bit of a low point as the showroom had not done any sort of PDI on the car. They had not even bothered to correct few minor things such as uneven roof beading and slightly misaligned glove box flap, which I had already asked them to do 2 days back. Anyways after over two hours of frantic running around and hard talking, finally got beading replaced, mud flaps and foot mats and left the showroom straight for a temple. Got out, pressed the lock key on remote and lo and behold, my Fiat journey had begun.

    The car wouldn’t lock. Called up showroom and was promptly told to call the helpline as it was out of their hands. Called the helpline and was again promptly told that a non locking car is not something they would look into, please contact the showroom/service center. This was 10PM in the night. I don’t have a private parking space and an unlocked car meant I would have to sleep in the car for the night.
    Again called up the sales guy and thankfully he came to my house and had a look. Banged the doors again and again a lot of times and finally found that front left side door was not responding to central locking. The assembly was faulty but the door could be locked manually from inside. And the rest of car also locked after that.

    Anyways, took Sabu to service center a day after and got the central lock mechanism for the door replaced. Was feeling very low standing at the service center from 9 am to 12 PM to get a two day old car fixed.

    For Rest of the review I’ll just put the good things and the bad things (IMO) about the car, starting with the Bad first as I love Happy Endings :)

    The Bads:


    I had heard about the plastics being bad but somehow never noticed during the test rides. As soon as I drove out of the showroom, first thing I noticed was the slight vibration of the indicator stalk when it comes back after the turn is completed. The plastic below the wipers had already turned white-ish after two days. The general feel of plastics is very bad and I use everything very delicately, fearing it would break anytime.
    My 13 year old Zen had better plastics.

    The Amitabh Bachchan of Clutches and Chewing Gum Gears:
    Gear stick feels rubbery and it takes a bit of effort in engaging gears. However this won't be a major issue. I have driven for 1000 kms but I would still say that I have not fully adjusted to the loooong clutch, especially in bumper to bumper traffic. In all other cars only the front part of foot is used to depress the clutch, however in Punto your heel will also move due to the long throw and thus on gradual release in traffic, if you don’t move your heel backwards, you will end up with the clutch pedal in the middle of your foot. I still don’t know how to deal with it properly.

    Any pointers on this would be appreciated.

    The mileage I am getting on the MID is 14.4 kmpl for the last 500 kms. Have not yet tried the full tank to full tank method, but I am assuming based on the discussions on forum my actual mileage must be less than the displayed value.

    However I should point out that my daily commute of around 30 kms overall is full of traffic, barriers and driving in first two gears. The average speed for the last 500 kms is around 22 kmph. Thus the mileage seems to be decent if not great.
    Sorry for the grainy image. All thaanks to Nokia's stupid fixed focus camera phones.

    Blue and Me Quirks:
    Music system is lacks an Aux input or A2DP. I am at loss of common sense for fiat to not include such a basic feature forcibly even after having put the hardware for it. The fact that front passenger has no control over songs while playing through pen drive, drives me crazy. A pen drive requires effort to go through folders and select songs, and giving driver the sole control of this is not a good idea at all. Anyways I hope fiat does something about at least A2DP.

    Quick Question: Does the iPhone connector for B&M enable us to change songs from Iphone screen or we still need to go folder by folder from the steering controls?

    The Goods:

    Ride Quality:

    Ride comfort is top class, and even with a high seating position it feels very stable at all speeds. During my initial 500 kms, I was being too cautious about revving the engine to higher range and thus I was shifting up too early and shifting down too late, effectively driving in the 1000 to 1500 rpm range. This was not exactly fun and now for the last 5 hundred kms, I have been driving normally, still avoiding anything above 2500 rpm, and Sabu is a breeze to drive. Although the first two gears would disappoint big time as they will stop you from getting a decent pick-up. But once you are past them you’ll love every minute of it. The steering is a great too, I don’t know about it being properly weighed and all, but it does exactly what it is asked to do, at all speeds.

    Little Tidbits:
    Various little features like when rear wipers start if front are started and you put the car in reverse gear. The auto light off to save battery if you forget to switch off after locking. The MID which tell you all that you may want to know. The speed beep which helps you keep in touch with the speed as with the ride quality it is very easy to lose track. The wipe that takes place 5 seconds, after you have used the windscreen wash wiper, to wipe off the remaining droplets. The climate control which means that the car is never too cold. The Music System, Sound Part, is more than enough for my needs.

    The Feel:
    Buying Punto was an emotional and impulse decision for me and I did think a bit about the Jazz after price drop and the fact that with a few more bucks I could have gone for SX4 Green, HOWEVER when I saw Sabu from a distance, parked along the road in sunlight, It looked so dashing that I had trouble believing that I owned it. It may not be head turner on road anymore, but it will turn your head whenever you are near it. Also you can feel the strength of the car’s build. Lean against the side of a Punto and the sheet would not get pressed.

    Punto’s highway manners are something which drew me towards it as I plan to travel a lot now, beyond Delhi. The Engine Guard, which is a standard across variants, is a great feature giving you confidence of going over bad roads feeling assured that engine is protected from underbody hits to a great extent.

    All the FIAT-TATA service and little niggles apart, It’s a great car which makes you want to take care of it. It will evoke emotions in you which other cars may not be able to.

    Buy it, if you know why you are buying it.

  3. ginnupotter


    The day i stopped the traffic to click a pic of my car

    Was stuck in a protest at Kapashera, while others were busy worrying about getting late, i was out clicking pics ;)
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  4. omzworld


    Love the last post!!!
    I wouldnt have been surprised if you had stopped the traffic literally to get your emotions out!!

    Mine is coming in few more days :)
  5. @ginnupotter - Let the car for hundreds or minimum 100 Km and then judge the FE. I think FE is based on average and hence IMO it cannot judged with short distance. I too had faced similar problems at start but the car is doing ~14-15 in city. I got ~21 kmpl highest mileage on trip from Pune to Mumbai. The car interior looks/feels better at night than the day time. You are bro, yes there are issues in terms of interior/plastics/service however the driving pleasure or satisfaction that you get cannot be matched by any other car in the same segment. Happy Driving !!!
  6. @ ginnupotter.. loved the last post and welcome to TFI. Nice review.
  7. NitinGirish

    NitinGirish Amatore

    Welcome to the FIAT club ginnupotter:)

    You are spot on about the clutch. There is no other way but to get used to it. But the gears are notchy more than rubbery I felt.

    Also, I am not sure why you find plastic bits to be bad. Agreed they dont exude premium feel n stuff, but its okayish, boring but okayish.

    I am interested to know your feedback on drivers seat comfort. Please do share your thoughts on that if you don't mind.
  8. ginnupotter


    As I said I come from a background of driving a no frills car, so I am really not in position to compare punto's seat comfort, however i would say that it feels quite comfortable to me and now whenever i sit on the front seat of any other car, i feel something to be missing. The way hseat edges touch your arms, it makes you feel more connected to the car. :)

    Also i tanked up 2 days back and total fuel filled till cutoff was for 1450 (35.13 ltrs) and the car had run for a total of 490 kms till then on the trip meter, so this gives me an average of approx 13.9 kmpl.
    Should i expect it to rise further as the car runs more or is it the best i can get in city?

    Request to the forum:
    Please respond to the question about iPhone/iPod as to whether we can use iPhone controls to change songs or it has to be via steering controls?

    As if its steering controls, then even my nokia C7 internal memory is read by Blue And Me so no point of getting an iPhone/iPod.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  9. varoon9999

    varoon9999 Superiore

    New Delhi,HP 48
    New Delhi,HP 48
    Grande Punto 1.3
    seating is quite comfy in punto,i have experienced that at a stretch of 10 hrs of continuous drive.
    your engine is new,average certainly gonna go up by 2 more units,as Delhi traffic crawls always, punto would give you somewhere in between 14-16 once you have run your engine 5k+.

    OT.why don't you plan for the meet as its scheduled for this coming Sunday i.e on 18th september @ CP
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  10. ginnupotter


    Requesting again for a response on this.:confused:

    I'll definitely try to make it for the meet. Would love to learn more about the car :)
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011

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